12/19/13 4:56 pm Age: 244 days

School of Business Professor Bruce Toews Wins Award

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By: Rachel Wood

2013 Walla Walla University Community Service Award

Bruce Toews. Photo by Chris Drake.

Bruce Toews, associate professor of accounting and finance at Walla Walla University, was presented with the Walla Walla University Community Service Award at the annual Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce gala banquet in early December.

Each year, the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual gala banquet, which brings community members together to honor local citizens who have made a positive impact in our society. At this banquet, Whitman College, Walla Walla University, and Walla Walla Community College each present an award to a local citizen for their community service.

WWU president John McVay presented the award, honoring Toews for his generosity and service to the community. Toews has been a positive influence in the Walla Walla Valley by applying his financial knowledge and talents to assist others.

Among Toews’ many positive contributions to society, he served as coordinator of an IRS volunteer program which provided free tax assistance to hundreds of low-income, elderly, disabled, and non-English speaking taxpayers.

In addition, Toews has helped hundreds of foreign students at Whitman College and WWU in complying with complex tax rules.

Toews volunteered at Blue Mountain Credit Union for 16 years in a variety of capacities, including chair of the Supervisory Committee, chair of the ALCO Committee, board chair, and as treasurer.

Jim Drake, President and CEO of Blue Mountain Credit Union, shared his experience of working with Toews. “During his 16 years as a volunteer at Blue Mountain Credit Union…Bruce Toews [has] provided hundreds of hours of volunteer service…Bruce also involved students from Walla Walla University to conduct audits on our behalf. This was done at a cost savings to the Credit Union and gave the student’s some practical experience. Bruce’s dedication to our membership and the Credit Union movement was evident in the way he always went above and beyond to provide a level of service that far exceeded what one would expect from a volunteer.”

Toews volunteered at Rogers Adventist School for a number of years.

Jim Weller, former principal of Rogers Adventist School, spoke of Toews’ service. “He went well beyond typical volunteer work in coaching our business managers on the accounting side of their jobs, and he shepherded our transition to whole new accounting system. He is still a key ‘go to’ person when a perplexing accounting problem arises. As I reflect on our experience with Bruce Toews, it is hard to determine which was more valuable: the breadth of his knowledge and skill in accounting, or the depth of his character. Indeed, they were both indispensable and inseparable.”

Toews also assisted the Sherwood Trust in developing a financial reporting guide for local nonprofits that provides financial information that is easy to understand. Jock Edwards of the Sherwood Trust says, “His dedication to serve the Walla Walla Valley is quiet, ever present, and inspiring.”

As the Chair of the Finance Committee and board member at the College Place Village SDA Church, Toews installed new financial software, prepared financial templates and reports at meetings. Sherry Keller, Treasurer, states “Bruce always responds quickly to calls for assistance, and gives willingly of his time and expertise.”

Toews has also served as a musician and teacher in ministry at the Washington State Penitentiary for a decade. His other musical endeavors include singing in the Walla Walla Valley Men’s Chorus and other music groups and performing for local events.

Published December 19, 2013.


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